Her campaign for governor brought Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham to Roswell on Monday, where she gathered with supporters for a meet-and-greet event at Los Cerritos on N. Main Street.
Lujan Grisham, who represents New Mexico’s 1st District in the U.S. House of Representatives, is vying for the Democratic nomination against former media executive Jeff Apodaca and State Sen. Joseph Cervantes. The winner of the June 5 primary will face the race’s lone Republican — U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce, who, like Lujan Grisham, is leaving a congressional seat to seek the state’s highest office.
Lujan Grisham addressed supporters on topics that have been cornerstones of her campaign so far, such as jobs and education.
But in addition to specifics, she reiterated an overarching theme on the nature of how communities function. She touched on that again when she visited the Roswell Daily Record office Monday afternoon, following the meet-and-greet.
“Family is not just the people that you’re related to by blood,” she said. “It’s the people that you build a community with. What New Mexico, I think, will benefit the most from is a governor who’s got to have leadership and vision, but recognizes that if we’re all building in these communities together … there is nothing anywhere in this state that we cannot achieve.”
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On the topic of jobs, Lujan Grisham said, “Even when the economy is great, people want to know that there is job security.”
Lujan Grisham, who experienced uncertainty after her husband passed away, said she knows what it’s like to have one’s financial situation change in an instant. Her focus, she said, is on both short-term initiatives to jump-start the economy, and on building a long-term foundation for the state.
“I am really excited about education …” she said, switching topics. “You need community schools as a statewide design, not as a pilot.”
Lujan Grisham also emphasized the importance of local control when it comes to education, and of a governor’s office that functions as a partner with the education community.
She pointed to governing experience as something she believes sets her apart from her primary opponents.
Second-term Republican Gov. Susana Martinez cannot run for re-election, leaving the race open for Pearce and the Democratic nominee. Pearce, of Hobbs, is a former combat pilot in Vietnam, and has focused on job creation and expanding the state’s economy, among other topics, as he’s campaigned for the office. He’s also emphasized a personal story that includes a rise from childhood poverty to success as an entrepreneur before selling his business to focus on work in Congress.
The general election is Nov. 6.